August 23, 2009 Subject:
Harley David Sonofabitch
Well if I could only get my hands on that back issue of Psychotronic which featured the William Smith interview because I distinctly remember him discussing a low-budget number where he and Don Stroud got a chance to fool around in front of the camera; come to think of it I think in another issue Don Stroud reports something similar. But in any event this movie's excellence certainly belies its curious appearance on this site in public domain.
First off I believe it precedes the movie "Stuntman" which has garnered a lot of cult appeal due to its exploration of the same themes. But with a distinctly grittier, more low-budget and ergo more authentic telling of the tale, H'wood Man turns out to be the superior effort. There are so many wonderful little facets to this movie: An unfortunately melodramatic theme song which is spliced into the last act at completely gratuitous and inapproriate moments; Mary Woronov as a leading lady (looking rather lissome and not at all Patti Smith'ed-out); for villains, a cadre of losers with wonderful parallels to the kidnap-caper misfits in "The Candy Snatchers" -- particular kudos for the designated Tiffany Bolling-psychotic blonde in this grouping of trash ne'er-do-wells and score settlers; the sarcastic one-offs heard from various real-life crew stalwarts playing someone in an alternate universe just like themselves; topped off with a stylized 70s downer ending a la Bonnie and Clyde. I could go on. Why ths film is not considered an exploitation diamond in the rough i do not know, but for anyone with an appreciation for William Smith's own take on an acting career as a heavy this is an excellent watch.
Smith especially is a great surprise here and should have ended up as Lorenzo Lamas' father on 'Renegade' by the way.
July 24, 2008 Subject:
A Good Film Ruined By a TV Print?
I was thrilled to see this movie uploaded being a Big Bill Smith fan. I was looking forward to the bad biker comb over fight between Ray Giiradin (mst3k Sidehackers) and Don Stroud star of many low budget cycle flicks. But it was not to be. The upload is obviously a TV print of a wide screen film. Bad word bleeps, Commercial breaks, and worst of all a shrink of a wide screen print to TV so in many scenes there are close to no one in the frame. Being a motorcycle rider for 40 years I love the scenes were they start off riding street bikes then cut to dirt bikes for the stunts, and being half Italian the portral of the Mafia is always good for a laugh, and even though Mary Woronov of 'Eating Raoul' fame is very hot, I can't recommend this copy.
June 14, 2008 Subject:
If you're a fan of low budget 70s films like me, and biker films in particular, you'll find this worth your while.
Jack Starrett, remembered by most people only as Gabby Johnson in "Blazing Saddles", was one of the best of the indie directors cranking out modestly budgeted action during the era. This isn't his best work by far, but it's no turkey if you like this genre. Check out "The Dion Brothers", "The Losers", or the more well known "Cleopatra Jones" if you want to see what Starrett could do with a little more money.
June 14, 2008 Subject:
June 13, 2008 Subject:
Better Than One
The bad guys are painfully nasty, and I really get enthusiastic about square-jawed heroes. Despite the triteness of the characters it held my attention ( I must be getting shallow as I age) to the somewhat surprising ending.